Now that summer is launched and I am switching gears into a slower, lazier pace, I am tuned in to all that is growing, climbing and blossoming around me! There are some wonderful patterns nature shares with us if we are willing to slow down long enough to notice.
Recently I came across two books that have inspired me after a long, hectic Spring had drained me of all creativity, Make Your Mark: Creative Ideas Using Markers, Paint Pens, Bleach Pens & More, by Lark Books, has packed each page with a wealth of ideas and information, resources and eye-catching photography! I must admit, I am very judgmental when it comes to books, especially art-related and craft books. They have to bring fresh ideas to creating practical items before I will even think about purchasing them. They have to prove that I will return to them as a valuable resource, once in my library and on my bookshelf. The photos have to lure me in and the pages have to be more than generous with resources and how-to information. Who doesn't love a good sidebar full of tips? This book, Make Your Mark aims to please, and yes it earned a place in my studio library!
Another wonderful book, with a completely different approach to the topic of pattern making, is Jessica Swift's, The Crafter's Guide to Patterns. This one takes you behind the scenes into the digital process of pattern making and the world of repeats, as used in fabric design. Again, the photos are bright, captivating and colorful.
And while I was reselling my old magazines at the Half Price Bookstore, I came across another Lotta Jansdotter book whose publication had slipped past me in the last few years. Published in 2010, Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style is a keeper. Yes, I am guilty of purchasing this too. Ok, admittedly it turned out to be more of a "swapping" my magazines for a must-have book, rather than a "reselling/recycling" moment...this is why I'd never bring home a paycheck if I worked in a book, fabric or craft store!
So Lotta delivers again, clean fresh photos of fun, patterned creations being enjoyed in scenes of parties and home life (where the home is clutter-free, unlike my own) and some yummy-looking scandinavian recipes to try! Who doesn't want to have homemade cinnamon rolls with their coffee and serve them with a self-printed napkin? Now that is a Saturday!
So if you hear your kids complaining of boredom this summer, pick up one of these and challenge them to get crafty and create some patterns of their own!
Wishing you a happy, creative and safe summer!